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Ndonga Linena vote hangs in balance

2021-09-14  Maria Amakali

Ndonga Linena vote hangs in balance
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Swapo’s Ndonga Linena constituency councillor Kampota Shiwana’s election last year has been declared null and void. 

This follows yesterday’s electoral court ruling, which ordered the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) to conduct a recount of all ballots cast in the Kavango East region’s Ndonga Linena constituency elections last year. 

A full bench of judges, including Judge President Petrus Damaseb, Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula and Judge Esi Schimming-Chase, declared the election results in the regional council election for Ndonga Linena constituency null and void. 

The swearing-in of the Swapo candidate, who was declared the winner, was also declared null and void. 

The court ordered the recount to take place on a date to be determined by ECN within 10 days from yesterday’s court order. 

In June this year, the All People’s Party (APP) succeeded in securing a court order that compelled the ECN to furnish the party with the 57 rejected ballots from the Ndonga Linena constituency regional council elections. 

However, the ECN only managed to provide four of the 57 rejected ballots on 12 July. 

The APP claims irregularities took place during the elections, which saw Shiwana securing 1 073 votes, compared to APP’s Djami Balthazar Daniel, who obtained 1 061 votes. 

Shiwana was declared duly elected. 

This forced APP to challenge the outcome of the 25 November 2020 regional council elections after 57 ballots, cast in favour of its candidate, were declared spoilt after voters reportedly made crosses on the face of the candidate, instead of the appropriate box. 

According to the APP, party agents observed on the day of the elections that 40 of the rejected ballots were in favour of their candidate. 

However, when their agents objected to the rejection of the ballots and requested recounts, the presiding officers refused.  

They further claim the presiding officer failed to record their requests in the occurrence book in line with the Electoral Act. 

Speaking to New Era after the ruling, APP secretary general Vinsent Kanyetu said ECN, who did not challenge the recent application, knew they were in the wrong, as their officials failed to carry out their duties as prescribed by the Electoral Act. 

“We knew what we wanted, and we knew that we won. It is not something new. The court just confirmed our feelings and stance on what we stood for since day one of this application. We remain hopeful that after the recount, we are going to swear-in our councillor in Ndonga Linena,” said Kanyetu. 

- mamakali@nepc.com.na


2021-09-14  Maria Amakali

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